UPDATE FROM THE MALAMUTE SALOON
Regular contributor to Stout Standards, Florida archaeologist Lisa MacIntyre, recently suggested that maybe ‘Ole Stouty should do a piece on First Aid for detectorists and I agree with her. It makes sense. However, and there’s a ‘but’ coming, and it’s this; in today’s litigious society such a piece would have to carry a disclaimer, for as sure as eggs is eggs, someone will try a claim damages from Stout Standards should they get bitten on the arse by a rattler when detecting in a pit of vipers!! You follow my drift?
Here in the UK and I guess the same exists in the US, various First Aid courses for treating minor injuries are available, and in the UK, the St John Ambulance Brigade is one such organisation offering Elementary through to Advanced courses. Perhaps the training route is the way to go.
Of course, prevention is better than cure, so it makes a lot of sense to pack a pocket-sized emergency kit such as the one I always carry (cost £1.00/$1.50), which contains;
- 12 Washproof plasters
- 4 Alcohol-free wipes
- 2 Burn/Wound lint pads
- 2 Non-adherent dressings
To which I’ve added a small tube of antiseptic cream. My pocket knife carries a useful pair of tweezers.
Indeed, many US detectorists – unlike their UK counterparts – wear gloves while hunting and it’s a habit I’ve recently adopted, having come across discarded hypodermic needles on parts of the local beaches. Apart from the obvious complications liable from having your fingers punctured by discarded needles, minor cuts and grazes while lifting coins from soil, can if left untreated, develop into full-blown tetanus, a condition fatal in 11% of reported cases. The highest tetanus mortality rates are in unvaccinated people, and people over 60 years of age.
Curiously, at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French accused the English archers of tipping their arrows with poison owing to the number of French post-battle deaths. In fact, what really happened was that the English bowmen planted their arrows point down at their feet, rather than drawing them from a quiver, thus making massed volleys of arrows faster to loose-off into the charging ranks of French knights. The soil from the fields around Agincourt carried the spores of tetanus which infected the wounds when they struck home.
Lastly of course, my gloves.
Jeez….who in their right mind wants to go hunting in 100-degrees anyway? Find a shady pub garden, a comfy seat and sip on a beer of three. But if you really must venture forth, then carry enough water for the length of time you’ll be out there under the burning sun. If you scroll back through Malamute Saloon you’ll come across some advice I found useful when it comes to water.
THIS TOO FROM JOHN…..
I’ll see y’all in the bar!